Source unknown – Title unknown (201X)

From a technical standpoint, these images are rull bad–over exposed (most likely due to a low-end digital device with limited dynamic range), the framing seems pretty much random/offers limited context regarding setting (most likely due to limitations presented by the layout of the room) and there’s no evidence of any kind of blocking/staging.

Now, that third bit ends up working–to a certain extent–in favor of the images. The more or less cluttered composition and technical limitations draw attention to gesture and expression. For example: I absolutely adore the way the young woman on the right is watching her friend attentively while her friend seems pretty much focused on her own personal interior experience. (It’s charming the way the young woman on the right is pretty much always trying to touch her friend’s skin–even if it is only a small part of her leg. Also, note how both their legs drift open as the sequence progresses.)

There’s something else I noticed that I think warrants comments. It’s difficult to see but I thought for the longest time that the images we posted out of order. I mean: in the first frame it looks like the young woman on the right has already discarded her underwear, whereas it’s definitely still on in the second image. I spent about five minutes looking back and forth to realize that she’s pushing the vibrator down the front of her undies in the first image. I really like the way that the young woman on the left is less apprehensive about being more undressed but seems more shy about masturbating in front of someone else, whereas the young woman on the right seems perfectly comfortable with masturbating but less so with being nude.

I feel as if this is one of those images that while decidedly not art in it’s present instantiation has a great deal of potential to be–with better craft and execution–Art. The subject is resonate, the interpersonal dynamics incisively rendered and whether intentional or not the staging of the sexual action away from the camera at worst sublimates the typical issues of the art historical male gaze; or, as I would argue: frustrates them.

And I will offer one piece of unqualified praise: even with the intense overexposure the attention to color is astute–the pillows contrasted with the sheets. The matching pink of the pink top and the other woman’s pink knickers vs. the orange top and purple knickers.

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